I re-read Denver’s Orem talk on the priesthood again tonight. I picked up some clarifications about sealing powers (pages 35-37) but found myself struggling with his discussion of keys (pages 32-34). The printed version of the talk is a little different than the recorded version. (Might be less on Doug’s page.)
The Keys of the Kingdom
I remember this section specifically in the recorded version because it sounded like he was doing a little dance and jingling a ring of keys from his pocket or something. If you were there, tell me what he did. He said, “keys, keys, we’ve got keys,” in what sounded like a theatrical voice.
Discussion of Section 128
The thing that got me thinking and what I want to point out is his emphasis on items other than keys that he spoke about in this section. He mentioned dispensations, rights, honors, majesty, glory and “power of the priesthood.” And then he astounded me with this amazing quote:
Dispensations and Rights
“Now you tell me, you declare to me, what are your dispensations? (I have one, and Joseph had one, but do you have one also?) Tell me what your rights are. Can you even tell me what your keys are? […] You tell me what they are.” Who is he talking to here – you, me, the Brethren?
Understanding Keys is Important
“Stop proclaiming that you own them, and tell me in plainness so as to persuade us all they both matter to salvation and you understand them enough to explain exactly what they are!” […] If you got them and they affect salvation, you ought to understand them.” OK, that makes sense.
Honors, Majesty, Glory and Power
“If you trust you need to have them for salvation, then you should be able to explain them; because a man cannot be saved in ignorance, after all. […] Tell me what your honors are. Tell me what your majesty is. Tell me what your glory is. Tell me what the power of your priesthood is.
Keys Alone Are Not Sufficient
“Because if keys alone were sufficient, I rather think that Joseph Smith who understood what he was writing, would not have gone to the trouble of parsing through the words: dispensation, rights, keys, honors, majesty, glory and power, if it was all speaking to exactly the same thing.”
Denver Snuffer Claims a Dispensation
The subject of keys was introduced as he read section 128, verse 21. But did you catch what he said? Denver said he had a dispensation. I can barely explain what a dispensation is, or at least what I’ve been taught it is, and here Denver Snuffer claims he has been given a dispensation.
We Hardly Comprehend Things of God
Page 33: “You hardly comprehend the things of God. You simply do not know how great things God has done for us. You remain content to allow conceit and foolishness to lead you from error to error without any fear that you are losing your souls.” OK, now he’s really got my attention.
You Must Receive Revelation
Page 34: “…the things of God are not to be taken lightly. Nor are they given to you merely by study. You also must receive revelation in order to understand revelation. The scriptures are a launching point to take your mind upward. You must commune with God to understand the things of God.
The Institution Will Not Save Us
“No man, or committee or organization will ever save you. Nothing some financial institution managed by lawyers, bankers, managers, businessmen and professors offers will matter in the afterlife. The only things which will matter there will be what you secure for yourself from the Powers of Heaven while you live here.” Wow. He lays it on the line here, doesn’t he?
Denver Wants to Get Us Thinking
Before he leaves the subject of keys and launches into an amazing presentation on the various kinds of sealing powers, he says something that I know some people will find offensive. But I want you to consider it and tell me what you think. Is he being controversial here on purpose?
Temple Recommend Worthless at Judgment
“When the Judgment comes, you will not be able to hand a Temple Recommend to your … Judge and have him respect a mere man’s judgment of you. All that document proves objectively is that you paid money to the church. It is a receipt.” I’ve never looked at it like that, have you?
Dare to Ask How Tithing is Spent
“And you don’t even know what your money got used for, because you do not even dare to ask the question of your leaders about how the money was spent.” Wait a minute, we do know and they have told us. The money is used to build temples, meetinghouses and operating expenses.
Subjective Nature of Temple Questions
“For the rest of the Temple Recommend questions, they are merely subjective in nature and allow the vain, the misled and the blind to announce their purported ‘worthiness.’ All of that is a mirage which will pass away when you depart this life.” OK, good point. They are subjective.
Invitation to Dialog
Disclaimer: These are simply a few of my study notes as I try to understand things I deem to be important. I have obviously quoted the words of a man who has been cast out of our Church for teaching these and other similar things. I am not trying to teach them to you. I am not asking you to believe these statements. I simply want to discuss them in an effort to understand them better.